Is Master Chief In Love With Cortana (& Why)?

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Master Chief has always been the fixture for the Halo franchise, as he is the main character of the main Halo titles. However, one of the other fixtures that have also been quite prominent in the Halo franchise is Master Chief’s AI companion named Cortana, who was with him for a long time. Now, in Halo 5, Master Chief was willing to risk his life to try to confirm that Cortana was still alive. So, is Master Chief in love with Cortana?

It was never confirmed how Master Chief felt for Cortana but what we do know is that he loves her in a manner that may not be romantic but is more of a loyalty and dependence kind of love. It’s like how family members feel for one another or how a soldier would feel for a fellow soldier he is loyal to.

One of the things that are quite interesting about Halo is the dynamic between Master Chief, the human super-soldier often regarded as robotic, and Cortana, the advanced artificial intelligence that is seemingly human. And what makes it interesting is that it explores a kind of love or relationship that you often don’t see in video games that have a male and a female as the central characters.

Is Master Chief In Love With Cortana?

We all know that the main Halo franchise has always been about Master Chief’s story because he is the title’s most iconic character. We can also argue that he is one of the most iconic characters in the history of video games, as people who have been playing video games since the 2000s grew up with Master Chief.

But while Master Chief may be the most iconic Halo character, we cannot forget about Cortana as well because she is probably the second-most iconic character the franchise has. Cortana serves as the AI partner to Master Chief throughout most of the entire franchise, as she has become a fixture in all of the main Halo games.


Given the fact that Master Chief had been with Cortana for as long as we could remember, there is some sort of a dynamic going on between them. It has always been clear that Master Chief regarded Cortana as something more than just an AI, as he showed concern for her condition, even though she may have just been an artificial being.

In Halo 4, there was an emotional moment between Master Chief and Cortana after the latter sacrificed herself at the end of the game. And Halo 5 showed us what Master Chief was willing to do just to confirm whether or not Cortana was still alive. So, does that mean that Master Chief is actually in love with Cortana?

The truth of the matter is that Master Chief does indeed love Cortana. But there are different levels of love that people don’t always see. It has always been clear that Master Chief loves Cortana because of the lengths he was willing to go through for her. Then again, this may not be the romantic kind of love that we often see in movies and read in books.

Throughout the entire Halo franchise, there has never been something sexual or romantic hinted at between Master Chief and Cortana. Despite the fact that there is a clear care and concern between the two characters, they have never expressly mentioned anything that can lead us to think that there is a romantic connection between them.

Instead, the most likely case is that Master Chief and Cortana have a platonic kind of love between them. Platonic love is basically how you would describe a relationship between two people without necessarily involving anything romantic or sexual between them. This term is often used to describe strong and deep friendships wherein two people from the opposite sex don’t necessarily want to be romantically or sexually linked to one another but still care for one another.

Platonic love isn’t necessarily the same as familial love because familial love is mostly rooted in blood ties and not on mutual respect and care for one another, even though there is also something similar to a familial kind of love between Master Chief and Cortana.

But the fact of the matter is that Master Chief and Cortana love one another in a way that allows them to be loyal and caring to one another in a manner that is not romantic. They care for one another and would die for another. This is also something that is similar to what a soldier feels for a fellow soldier he has been with through a lot of battles.

Why Is Master Chief So Attached To Cortana?

Even though we did say that Master Chief isn’t in love in a romantic way with Cortana, it still is plain to see that he is attached to her. His attachment is so strong that he was willing to disobey orders and disregard his status as an obedient soldier just so he could confirm whether or not she was alive. And there were countless times throughout the games that he was willing to lay it all on the line for Cortana. So, why is it that Master Chief is so attached to Cortana?

The attachment that Master Chief has to Cortana is some sort of dependence because he has been with her through a lot of missions and battles, as he might not have survived some of them without her. Considering that he grew up without a parent figure because he was taken at the age of six to be trained and experimented on, Master Chief is probably emotionally attached to Cortana and is dependent on her in a manner that is similar to how a child is dependent on a mother.


How Old Is Master Chief In Every Halo Game (Including Halo Infinite)?

Of course, you could also go back to the soldier-to-soldier love if you want to know why Master Chief is so attached to Cortana. Only soldiers would understand the kind of strong bond they have with one another, and this bond is so strong that soldiers loyal to one another are not willing to leave anyone behind.

The same case applies to Master Chief and Cortana, as the hero sees his AI partner as something more than just a partner. He regards Cortana as something similar to a soldier as well because she has been with him throughout a ton of battles. There is a level of loyalty between the two, such that Master Chief will never be willing enough to leave Cortana behind, as we saw in Halo Infinite that he felt guilt with how he handled the situation between him and her in the past Halo games.

What Happened Between Cortana And Master Chief?

Speaking of the things that happened between Cortana and Master Chief, it is worthy to note that, throughout most of Halo 4, it was only Cortana that Master Chief could depend on because they were both lost in space.

But at the end of the game, Cortana had to sacrifice herself to stop the Didact from waging war against humanity, and that meant that Master Chief had just lost the partner he had been with since the very first Halo game.


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Then again, in Halo 5, Master Chief saw a vision of Cortana contacting him and asking him to go to a planet called Meridian. This was when Master Chief and Blue Team decided to disregard orders to look for Cortana.

Which Halo Did Cortana Betray Master Chief?

Going back to when Master Chief searched for Cortana in Halo 5, he did eventually find her but in a Forerunner planet called Genesis. It was then and there that Cortana revealed that remnants of her data were able to survive the events of Halo 4 when she used a Forerunner repository of knowledge to keep herself alive.

However, getting hold of the information and knowledge from the Forerunner repository changed her in some way because she was now willing to put the entire galaxy in check through Forerunner weapons called the Guardians.

When Master Chief realized that Cortana wanted an authoritarian rule over the galaxy, he told her that he was not willing to go along with her plans. And that was when Cortana, who saw things differently, betrayed Master Chief and Blue Team and put them on stasis.

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Master Chief did eventually make it out with the help of Fireteam Osiris. However, he could not stop Cortana from putting her plan into motion, as the events at the end of Halo 5 brought about a new war in the galaxy and opened up the events that led to the conflicts in Halo Infinite. 

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